Tourism plan coming, claims minister

| 08/05/2020 | 149 Comments
Cayman News Service
Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell at Thursday’s press briefing via Zoom

(CNS): Cabinet will be issuing a formal order shortly that Cayman airports and ports will be closed until 31 August. But officials have all indicated this is unlikely to mean the borders will be opening the next day. At the press briefing on Thursday Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell failed to send a clear message to cruise lines not to book people on ‘ghost cruises’ that call here, he did say a national plan for the tourism sector would be published soon.

Joining the panel via Zoom at the daily update, Kirkconnell confirmed that the Cabinet paper was sent out Thursday confirming that the cruise port will not be open to cruise lines until 1 September, based on what “we have just passed”, but it will be reviewed again.

Asked about cruise lines using the official dates as a way to sell cruises for this year, despite the fact that they are unlikely to be able to call at the ports they indicate, the minister did not say that they should not be doing that. But he said he didn’t think we would be seeing cruise ships here this year.

“The cruise business itself is extremely fluid,” Kirkconnell said. “I don’t think that we are going to see cruise vessels back in Grand Cayman for the second, third quarter or forth quarter, to be quite honest. We will continue to dialogue and see what’s the best for our tourism industry and product. We are happy where we are… in the process now of putting our medium-term and long-term plan together for tourism itself, which we will bring to the country.”

He said this would involve the total package of incentives, re-training and the possible opportunities now.

The minister claimed tourism was at “the end of its free-fall”, with more than 90% of it gone, but now “we are starting to build it back”.

The minister said there were no short-term fixes to the loss of tourism, but as the country moves towards the re-opening of the local economy it would open opportunities for the tourism sector. Although the last part of the economy to recover, tourism can come back in part with ‘staycations’, which he predicted would “become huge”, as well as the restaurant sector.

Kirkconnell said that Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which are opening ahead of Grand Cayman, were preparing for when we are over the coronavirus and could begin to promote domestic tourism.

But he warned that in the main, tourism was not going to recover until the world recovers around us, as he pointed to the challenges surrounding the airline and cruise industries. “We are doing everything we can to build this country back better than it was,” he said, as he spoke about the need to help businesses re-invent themselves.

Meanwhile, as the cruise sector is on the verge of completely sinking, some companies are still selling ‘ghost cruises’ that they know will not exist in order to address their dire cash flow problems. But the sector is facing a very uncertain future, even if the tourism sector begins to recover sooner than expected.

The cruise industry has been hit by the economic impact of the collapse of tourism, as well as the behaviour of some companies in the face of the virus outbreaks on its vessels. Often now described as ‘floating Petri dishes’, as COVID-19 is not the first disease that has impacted the sector, this, combined with the growing backlash over their impact on ports of call, the poor environmental record, abuse of workers and use of flags of convenience, has hit the industry hard.

Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line, one of world’s the biggest cruise companies, warned this week that the company could go out of business and most of the other leading cruise lines, including Carnival and Royal Caribbean, the two companies that were set to be involved in the ill fated cruise project here, are also both in dire financial circumstances and facing an uncertain future.

See Thursday’s press briefing on CIGTV below, starting with the CNS question to the tourism minister:


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Comments (149)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    if you think anybody in cig has the ability to come up with a viable economic plan to deal with what cayman is facing…you are living in dreamland.
    said before… time to pettition the fco to bring in top economic advisors.
    cayman economy is doomed under no-plan-alden and the do-nothing-ppm.

    • Anonymous says:

      We’re doomed, doomed, I tell you!!! Stop your grinnin’ and drop your linen because we’re doomed!

  2. Anonymous says:

    staycations to save tourism????
    most folks will be lucky to keep the lights on till the end of june…and after that cayman will see their worst recession ever and people defintily won’t be paying a small fortune to sleep somewhere down the street.
    governor, we an intervention here asap.
    moses needs to step down asap as he obviously has no understanding of basic economics.

    • Anonymous says:

      “most folks will be lucky to keep the lights on till the end of june”
      Ok, Chicken Little.

      • Anonymous says:

        Many are still working. Same people like to take lots of shopping trips and vacations. Unable to do that, they are likely to turn to staycations until the borders open.

  3. Soon Come says:

    Well. They can plan anything they want. So can I. So can normal, everyday people.

    One thing the Government, certain politicians and the cruise industry had better plan for is the money they are going to need to settle the Grand Court class action civil lawsuit being brought forward against them for allowing the health of citizens to be put at risk, for the disruption of liberties and life, and the destruction of persons finances that their greed has caused.

    This greed cumulated in the disembarking of a passenger, that any reasonable human bieng would have considered has having COVID19, here in the Cayman Islands.

    This passenger therefore caused the infection of persons who dealt with the subject and potentially many more infections locally. It is therefore reasonable to believe that the current situation here is as a direct result of either their greed or ignorance. But either way they can be held responsible.

    Make sure you have a plan folks.
    IT IS COMING SOON……..

    • Anonymous says:

      Soon Come . I hope you are not expecting your fortune to ‘soon come ‘ as a result of winning this lawsuit.Hood luck with proving that CI Government knew beforehand that the cruiser was infected. And then proving how many cases wete as a result of exposure to him. Seems like everybody’s middle name nowadays is ” sue ” especially if they come from North America or Europe.

      • Fact verses Fiction says:

        That’s why you have a jury. They are given all the information to enable them to make an informed decision.
        So let’s look at the facts.

        #1 The passenger who came off the ship had COVID19.
        #2 The COVID19 situation had been going on around the world for sometime, especially on Cruise Ships.
        #3 As stated by Govt and Health City the Covid19 positives were as a result of the dealings with the patient.
        #4 Govt attempted to hide the fact of the patients disembarkation initially.

        Can you dispute ANY of these facts?

        It will be put to the test.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yawns…

  4. Taimoon says:

    It saddens me to see the disrespectful remarks made by some expats here in Cayman. We must remember that this country belongs to Caymanians, that they have a culture that may be different from yours, but has equal validity, that while the Health Minister may be rambling in your view, he is primarily talking to Caymanians and comforting them. We can be quite arrogant in how we view “the other” and view this country as only worth while for milking it for our gains and returning to our comfortable own country much more wealthy than we dreamed of. But wait, think for a minute, how would you react if expats in your country are so disrespectful of your culture and your interests, and your leaders. The government has done a very good job of containing this virus, and ensuring the safety of all here. You are probably safer here right now than most places.

    • Anonymous says:

      I am Caymanian and I can assure you the Minister of Health is not comforting me and my family. In fact, just the opposite when I think this is the level of our Caymanian leadership.

      Really don’t blame the expats for disrespecting such a high level of ignorance.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m Caymanian and think his ramblings are not productive and I take no comfort at all to the blatant display of his incompetence. We are definitely luckier than most places, but I’m confident to say thru no help of the MOH himself, his team perhaps, but no confidence in him. At this point we need strong leadership and the Premier was displaying that for a while, but I lost a great deal of respect for him with the handling of the MOH wife’s incident.

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree the MOH is an idiot and Alden didn’t take the right response in addressing the situation, but what could he do in the end? Ask for the MOH’s resignation and lose control of the government in the middle of a pandemic? Next thing you would know, McKeeva would be back in charge.

    • Anonymous says:

      My god. You are an idiot.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Time to do some thinking and direction finding.

    The Covid crisis will dramatically affect much of the current tourism market, the people who travel. The smart money is working on identifying the people that will be traveling because the have a reason to, the ability, and the money. What will those people want? If we think just opening up is going to bring the tourists back you are sadly mistaken.

    So planners. DOT, MLA’s, free enterprise, identify the keys to new market opportunities and make a favorable environment for those types.

    I’m no expert but I expect it won’t be the average American looking for Margaritas on the beach or an all you can eat floating buffet Petri dish.

    • Anonymous says:

      AGREED, IMHO I think only the super wealthy will be interested in traveling at this time. The average American isn’t going to have the money and if they do they will be very frugal with the spending. The super wealthy will travel privately, which will minimize the spread of the virus hopefully? As only 10-15 will be in the tin can as opposed to the 100-200? These people will not be interested in tacky tourists shop or dingy cab rides to a mediocre tourist trap, so please keep that in mind and no offense, but ask the super wealthy community who live here what that looks like as the average civil servant in the tourism department probably doesn’t know what the looks like.

  6. Anonymous says:

    They can land. It’s the taking off with a full load of fuel, for the transatlantic flight, that is the problem.

  7. Anon says:

    I believe our Leader has two goals, to avoid even a single death from Covid, and to avoid a single layoff in the Civil Service. Both will come at great cost to the general poulation.

    • Anonymous says:

      if people are unemployed explain how stay cay gonna work

      • Anonymous says:

        I’m not doing no stay cay. I’d like to but I’m saving every damn penny now. No nice things for a long time for me. Except for a nice dinner out when I can.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Surely now is the time to re configure our tourism sector forget the burger and chips brigade and make this a high end tourist destination. Make the sandbar and stingray city a memorable experience instead of the hordes of drunks in the water.
    I have always wondered why does every other Caribbean country have the likes of Gucci, LV and we have hmmm oh yes a perfume shop.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I’m very sad to be getting out of Cayman, probably for good. I may come back visit friends here in the future, if any remain here much longer, but my contribution to this place ends shortly. For the time I’ve lived here, I’ve loved the place and the many friends I’ve made.

    Most of that time, the local government was irrelevant to us. Most foreign business people I know could not have cared any less about the government in the past, to be honest. It was a country run like a two horse town. The only issue that was of any concern to anyone Ai knew was the stink of the dump (which in hindsight was a pretty big hint at how useless this bunch really is). Generally, we just minded our business and profited from the tax neutral status. It is, after all, what bring all of us here.

    All to say that Alden was someone we barely knew and really didn’t think about. Everyone here knows that the mostly homophobic small minded government is stuck in the 50s and their ‘Footloose’ type religious zealotry was a necessary nuisance that garnered nothing more than an eye roll and a chuckle. The British oversight, the beach and excellent foreign run restaurants made-up for the subtle annoyance of any minimal contact we had with the backward xenophobic elements of this society.

    That’s all over. The government is omnipresent now and that won’t do. Alden is showing us just how dangerous a little third world country can become in the blink of an eye, with a Governor who lacks any real standing after all. Anyway, I’m not going to let a simpleton lock me up and take away my liberties, especially in the midst of what is predicted to be a bad hurricane season. So, the house is for sale, everything is packed and we’re leaving, As we head for our other home, we’re taking our business with us as well as the jobs we would have created. To put it in perspective, it wasn’t two months ago that we were planning a project that would have moved hundreds of well-paying jobs here from another country, all to the benefit of locals. All dead in the water now.

    I certainly wonder, as I speak with dozens like me, who now see the Premier’s sophomoric and unacceptable demeanour on obvious display, the Health Minister’s bizarre weekly ramblings and their nonsensical governance – we all wonder what will this will look like in two years? Will it be another St.Lucia where the locals make $2/hr? Will it be like in the Dominican? Can the offshore financial sector carry this place for much longer, as the planet focusses on this blacklisted tax haven more and more? I wonder… What Cayman does not realize is that expats don’t really need this place. More and more, places like Curaçao and Bermuda are becoming just as attractive – maybe more. Anyway, at least two businesses (that I’m certain of) won’t be here next month and the list of such losses is growing. There’s a big financial company itching to shutter its operations here. “Nothing gets done and it costs a fortune to be here” their Director told me.

    Writing this makes me sad for what was, even just a few short months ago, until we finally met the Premier and paid attention to his press briefings.

    • A 'white European' (as I was called recently) says:

      I concur with all of your comments and perspective. I committed to Cayman 12 months ago. It started out fine but quickly the experience of setting up was quite frustrating and crushingly expensive. My investors and I spent in excess of $100,000 KY and never got close to what we expected to achieve. I came here instead of other locations because of the adherence to rule of law, beautiful weather, friendly easy-going Caymanian residents and low crime stats. Tax benefits were important but not the over-riding issue. I can incorporate in other jurisdictions without living there, and do it at a fraction of the cost here in Cayman. I have already left the island, with no plans to return. The pettiness and nepotism in government, previously suppressed but now open resentment against foreigners who bring capital and create jobs (well paying jobs for Caymanians, not min wages), a recent surge in crime and the usurious costs are foreboding. The worst is yet to come. No one should buy a home here unless they are willing to overpay and then visit it occasionally. The rental market and sales markets will continue to plummet. There is no good news coming out of Cayman anytime soon. I have sorrow and angst for all the wonderful Caymanians and Filipinos I have become friends with because I see no future for them there.

      • Anonymous says:

        So much for commitment. I don’t think that is the right word. Maybe try out, or see what this is all about, or test this would describe what your minimal investment was.

        • Anonymous says:

          SMH, they always come back or want to. Just say’n

        • Anonymous says:

          I ‘made the commitment’ many moons ago too. Still here. But by commitment, the person might be referring to what they gave up to come here. I gave up my home, family life, everything. Just trying to be fair on the ‘commitment ‘ part.

    • Anonymous says:

      We don’t need no fly by night people here who when things get tough, run with their tail between their legs. You would run after a hurricane too. Wait for us to clean up and come back.

      • Anonymous says:

        Lol – I stayed after Ivan while a lot of Caymanians I know headed for the US or UK, only to come back and demand their old jobs back when it was fun to live here again. Yes, expats did that, too, but you need to stop talking shit.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s understandable, and I don’t know where it is you’re going back to, but you might be in for a rude awakening when you get there. The situation is pretty screwed up everywhere. There are lockdowns still in many other places and the economic situation is dreadful. Even if you have the money to be recession/depression-proof, be prepared to see poverty like you’ve never seen in many places. And that will mean crime, death and misery. I for one am very thankful to be here and not in the United States, the country of my birth. This situation is a drag, but I respect the underlining “ethos” of the government – that lives matter more than the economy right now. I have some bad days, but because I’m still working from home, I’m not particularly threatened right now (although it could change depending on how bad the economy gets). But even if I lose my job, I will survive and if I’m going to be reduced to just surviving, this is a pretty good place to do that, the cost of living aside. The government has been far from perfect with all of this, but I think that can be said of most places, save maybe New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea. Considering the lack of talent pool for government positions on a small island like this, it could have gone much, much worse. Alden’s thinking, that if we can just hang through this a while longer, get the testing done and see the positive cases (especially those of unknown community transmission) disappear, then we can open up, makes sense to me. And to be “normal” again here, we can’t be running around thinking of every person we meet in the office, in a restaurant or in a store being a potential carrier of coronavirus. I am a firm believer in not worrying too much about things I can’t control, and I’ve surprised myself with the patience I’ve developed. All in all, it could be much worse and I still know I’m pretty damned blessed to be living in the Cayman Islands and not in many other places in the world where misery is the daily normal. Someone put a photo on Facebook the other day of a woman who is a Syrian refugee, dirty and in rags, next to her small, equally dirty child. The child’s playpen was a torn cardboard box. I can be patient. Good luck with whatever you decide – we all have to do what we feel is best.

    • Fantasy says:

      “I’m very sad to be getting out of Cayman, probably for good” –

      Well, with that attitude and slight insults, I don’t want you back! Have a prosperous life in whatever place you end up to exploit.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bye buddy. Uk is no better hence why you and ‘dozens you speak for’ are here.. still! Bye.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like whimpering from someone who failed and wants to blame someone else.

      Wish you success wherever you land.

    • Anonymous says:

      This person is a very selfish human being. What do u think, your money is all. You are one of them who only come here for the benefit of the country to make money, but when the money can’t make you turn around, ready to mad mouth the Cayman Government. Remember you came naked to this earth, and naked you will return. Hope God Almighty open your eyes before it too late.

  10. Anonymous says:

    If I ever get sick with a serious heart condition or cancer, I don’t want to be treated for my illness anywhere but the finest medical institution in the world. Cost is irrelevant. I want my family to sell our house and every thing of value we have in order to send me to the most prestigous health care center in the world. If it means my family has to cash in my pension fund, borrow and beg I will except nothing but the best no matter how much it costs. My families destitute situation doesn’t matter in such a situation. I deserve only the best. I’m sure everyone agrees with me and they all do (or did) the exact same thing for any of their family members.

    In fact, the government should immediately begin it’s plan to guarantee that Cayman has the best cancer and disease treatment centre on the planet. No price is too high. We must do it.

    Anyone who disagrees loves money more than saving lives.

    • Anonymous says:

      And the cancer and disease center that is the most state of the art in the world should be free. There will be no need to fly out of Cayman to receive the absolute best care available in the entire world.

    • Queenie Ebanks says:

      Go back to school and learn the different between it’s and its.
      It’s (correct spelling) hard to take anyone seriously if that person doesn’t (does not) know the difference.

  11. Anon says:

    How about a plan. In the USA the Federal government, in one month, rearranged and coordinated multiple industries to produce needed ventilators and personal protection gear, they erected hospitals and redirected hospital ships. As a result there was no shortage of these items. In contrast, New York City failed to do what was necessary, the mayor and commissioner of health there assured everyone that there was no danger of infection and encouraged them to attend a large Chinese New Year celebration in downtown Manhattan, they failed to safely operate the subways, and other public transport, until thousands died there. This seems to have been the pattern with Progressive places. No plan or poor plan.

    Cayman must have tourism. Come up with a plan to make it happen. I can think of two off the top of my head.

    Plan 1: Air Tourism.

    A. Ask Cayman health officials to search for a reliable short term test for the China virus. (There is at least 1 one hour test on the market)

    B. When a test is found, allow airlines to transport passengers who have tested negative 2 weeks before and then 1 hour before the trip. The airline will handle this just as they now ensure that passengers have the proper travel documents.

    If there is a suitable test this could be done right now for Little Cayman for flights from Miami. The costs of the testing could be added to the plane ticket.

    Plan 2: Cruise Travel.

    Formulate testing requirements for ship passengers before boarding and on the morning of disembarking at Cayman.

    Designate an enclosed part of the island to receive and accommodate passengers. Service personnel would live on site and go through quarantine when leaving the site to return to the rest of the island.
    This would be much less onerous than the months most Cayman men once spent at sea to feed their family.

    Royal Caribbean already has large dedicated areas at Falmouth in Jamaica, and Labadee, in Haiti. In Falmouth one can spend the day at the shopping and restaurant area without interacting with any Jamaican who is a not a service person or entertainer. In Haiti the cruise tourist does not leave the dedicated area at all. All of the shore activities take place within the fenced in area or on the adjacent water.

    The bottom line is this: Come up with a plan! A 10 month shutdown is not a plan.

    • Queenie Ebanks says:

      Well presented and reasoned. Cayman is in a death spiral without tourism. The UK will not subsidize life here for long. Once the pension money is gone then where will the funds come from? The imported workers from the Philippines, Honduras, etc. have or are planning on leaving. Crime is up already, and I have experienced tribalism from Caymanians who have expressed repressed, deep seated resentments against non-Caymanians. Such a stunning and abrupt fall from grace. I see no future here for the next two or three years, maybe longer. Violent crime is already up too. All the pretty beaches and diving are nice, but there are many other options.

      • Anonymous says:

        “Crime is up already”
        Do you know something we don’t? Is the Commissioner of Police lying to us? I think crime is actually down, or at least now worse that it was. Unless you’re talking about that gang stuff in West Bay? Of course that crap comes up every few years and is nothing like it was 10 years ago or so.
        As far as the tribalism goes, people who don’t read CNS scarcely know of it! The Caymanian-expat animosity exists, but out in the world, most people are just people and they keep their prejudices to themselves. Here, where you can post anonymously, people just let it rip. Some of it’s just trolls trying to get a rise out of people.

    • Anonymous says:

      I stopped reading after you called it the China virus.

    • Anonymous says:

      The rapid test that they have now is not accurate. How about tourism within our Caribbean countries instead of the Covid19 countries who don’t acre if they pass Covid19 on to us. The cruise ships continued to drop their sick passengers all over the Caribbean. How could we trust them again?

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous @5:18 pm: you must have been listening to faux news:

      “In the USA the Federal government, in one month, rearranged and coordinated multiple industries to produce needed ventilators and personal protection gear, they erected hospitals and redirected hospital ships….”

      Seriously?

      You lost me totally at that. The federal government is exactly what put the US in the mess they are in. Did you not hear Trump say when the states were asking for help that it wasn’t his job to help the states?

      Honestly, avoid the supporting lies on Fox News who worship at the feet of Lying King Trump.

    • Anonymous says:

      As soon as I saw your verbatim regurgitation of Trump’s BS I stopped reading. Maybe you should go back to the US and help them recover with your expertise cause I think they did it more than we do with him as President.

  12. Anonymous says:

    !00%
    And before some one comes in and says no tourist will come some will I can guarantee it!
    But also there is the offshore industry and other businesses that needs to function and may need travel on and off the Islands. Maybe not now but in 4 or 8 weeks we don’t know what will happen.

    And what is with the Governors office and Government saying that Permit Holders can not come in on the emergency flights?? Some of these people have made this their home, they are separated from their families that are here and some are staff for businesses that are full operational.
    CNS – Please ask the Governor why this is so!

    • Anonymous says:

      I second that!….CNS, Wendy please ask this as my emails fall on deff ears!

      I have a staff member that is stuck! There family is on Island and the Governors office in an email said ” At this time permit holders can not come in on emergency flight ”
      We have been paying for accomodation overseas for 6 weeks, they own their own home here and have their Job. Their family is here including young children that have been without a parent which is unacceptable.
      The government needs the income from work permits even more so now, but yet will not treat them right and allow them to come home.

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Lockdown is the intervention needed to stop the port construction from going forward. The Lockdown is the intervention the world, this country and its people needed to get our affairs in order. I have been told the Devine intervention is already here.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Now fire those geniuses that failed to attract any other tourists apart from red necks off of cheap cruise ships.
    500+ million Europeans with passports and money to spend, but Cayman chose the easy option.
    Europe and Canada will be coming out of Covid-19 lockdown, and probably get vaccinated long before the US, yet we still turn to the Yankee dollar.
    Their crazy countrywide opening is going to set back tourism for years, no one wants to risk masses of Americans coming here infecting our population.
    Their nitemare is only just beginning, but it’s what they want in the name of freedom. Our freedom to stay well and alive relies on them staying away.
    We need more European airlines here, break BA’s monopoly and put together a more expansive tourism product that stops the insane reliance on the fickle US market.

    • Anonymous says:

      Canadians aren’t stupid enough to pay a fortune to stay at overpriced hotels, just to hang out at a beach. There are a myriad of more beautiful places with much better entertainment and amenities that Canadians can visit for a fraction of the price. Cayman should just stick to exploiting tax schemes and forget tourism, because that’s really all you have going for you.

    • Anonymous says:

      Not possible bringing in Europeans like at Montego Bay Airport because the long haul planes from Europe cannot land with full load at our airport due to our runway.

      Wish we had gone with the Canadian airport proposal years ago, like Bermuda, and then we could have brought planes from Germany and Italy directly.

      • Anonymous says:

        Have you seen the runway at our airport lately?

        • Anonymous says:

          Where the first thing to land will fall into the (filled) pond! The run way isn’t long enough without getting rid of the road. They originally wanted to do that & extend the run way & use the cricket pitch For the European flights. The few hundreds who play cricket nixed that about 15 years ago.
          Like the cricket pitch couldn’t go somewhere else!!! SMH

        • Anonymous says:

          It still can’t accommodate the major players.

    • Anonymous says:

      Obviously you haven’t met the average European tourist, or hped to be tipped by one.

      • Anonymous says:

        Who cares, the Germans and Italians are big spenders in the Caribbean if the product is high end, particularly great restaurants.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes 9:38, much better to have those big spending cruise ship people who buy our beer and t-shirts. These people take the cake as cheapstakes and the Europeans are not even close.

    • Anonymous says:

      Right, because Europe did so well with the virus…

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kirkoconnornomics!

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for this article, Wendy. I was a little lost in the question and answer yesterday.

      So this is just a legal exercise that is basically meaningless, not even worth the paper, as our borders have long been closed for all intents and purposes. At least I now understand what the heck that was all about.

      Just shows how important the press is in helping the public to understand some of the garbled stuff that comes out at times.

  16. Anonymous says:

    May the cruise line industry sink like the Titanic!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah! Screw those 4000+ jobs! As long as you can stuff your fat face!

      • Anonymous says:

        3000 expat. The 1000 local should take jobs elsewhere – IF they are willing to work for minimum wage. If they don’t like minimum wage then get your MLA’s to increase it.

        • Anonymous says:

          Just take one of the many available jobs else where in our pile of ashes once known as the economy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Just as long as the band gets off this time, we actually like them.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Because less than 1000 people have taken care of their health out of the thousands we have in Cayman. A sick country mind body and spirit now wants to get healthy? Alittle late for that, but better late than never right.

    If you crapped on your health for the past 30 years.

    Don’t expect wearing masks or sanitizing your hands or vaccine or testing the entire island or locking people down.

    Accept that our immune system is the only line of real defense when it comes to viral outbreaks.

    If you crapped on your body most of your life, accept your karma, accept death and stop being so afraid and let go of trying to control nature.

    I guess the younger generations that we have been calling stupid and illogical with no experience will prevail in the end.

    Stay safe community.

    • Anonymous says:

      You really seem to be a horrible individual. I’m so sorry you don’t care about your friends, family, neighbours. It must really be horrible being you right now. Hopefully you can find some joy somewhere, it helps soothe the soul.

    • Anonymous says:

      Sounds like you’ve crapped on your mental health for the past 30 years.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Right after Alden comes up with a plan presumably

  19. Anonymous says:

    I’m exhausted with the Premier’s false dilemma sophomoric arguments. It’s beneath his position frankly. It’s an intellectually bankrupt or worse dishonest position to say that if you don’t agree with lockdowns you don’t care if old people die or that you are choosing money over the lives of our elders. Our elders could receive supreme and luxurious protections without bankrupting the entire country.

    In time the hypocrisy of this position will come to light. The question is, how much damage will occur before this untenable strategy implodes.

    • Anonymous says:

      3:01 pm: I don’t think you realize how many seniors have died in other countries.

      The deaths in nursing homes in the US is a scandal reverberating from shire to shore.

      The same in other countries, including Sweden.

      No matter how “supreme and luxurious [the] protections,” as you put it, if you don’t protect the whole population, the elderly who are invariably dependent on others, would be affected.

      You cannot exclusively ring fence the elderly.

      • Anonymous says:

        3:01 pm: check it out, the deaths by age groups in Sweden, held up by many CNS posters as a what we should have aspired to:

        https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107913/number-of-coronavirus-deaths-in-sweden-by-age-groups/

        The overwhelming majority are seniors. Very sad.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yes it’s sad but we will all die. While I think we need to take precaution and the seniors actually need to take more precaution than anyone I think that we can’t continue to live our life like this… it’s not a life.

          • Anonymous says:

            @6:15 pm: open your ears: our Premier is phasing in re-opening. Soon come.

            • Anonymous says:

              But he want to go to the bar nowwwwwwwwww! Bad premier won’t let him, He no like bad premier. He want his sippie bottle.

      • Anonymous says:

        The numbers in other countries have totally been illegally padded. Please do your research before making inane posts.

        • Anonymous says:

          6:22 pm: I think you are the one who needs to research before making unsupported ad hominem posts, the lowest form of argument.

          Those figures are corroborated by numerous sources.

          Sweden has now earned the distinction of placing 24th in the world on the Coronavirus scale, according to http://www.worldmeters.info

          According to today’s figures, Sweden has registered 25,925 cases, with 656 new cases, 45 new deaths, 3,220 total deaths, and 17,730 active cases.

          Here is the start reality: the Swedish PM told the country on April 6th, among growing cases among the elderly, prepare for thousands of deaths.

          See https:news.yahoo.com/Swedish-p-m-tells-country

          Yesterday (9 May), “Swedish prosecutors launched an investigation into an elderly care home in Stockholm where more than a third of residents have reportedly died after the novel Coronavirus spread at the facility.”

          And “… public health officials acknowledge a failure to keeping the virus away from vulnerable groups such as those in nursing homes.”

          Read the rest of the story at https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/Sweden-starts-criminal-probe-into-care-home-after-Coronavirus-deaths/ar

          Last I read Sweden government was seeking more powers to implement a lockdown or stronger restrictions on public life, according to Swedish media.

          As for Statistica, which corroborates Worldmeter, if you visit their site you will see: “The numbers shown here were collected by Johns Hopkins University, a source that manually checks the data with domestic health authorities.”

          To the poster who thinks that the elderly in nursing homes are 100% protected, as long as they have contact with health care workers and other attendants who have outside contact, they remain vulnerable. You may reduce risk by eliminating visitors, but you cannot eliminate risk until the virus is gone from our shores.

          Then you have the elderly who live alone or with family. How are you going to ring fence those? You can’t.

          • Anonymous says:

            Shouldn’t Sweden’s statistics be showing double or triple the death rate as western Europe? They had no lockdown while W. Europe locked down. What gives?

      • Anonymous says:

        “You cannot exclusively ring fence the elderly.” Well, actually you can. You may not like the idea of self quarantining everyone above a certain age, but its certainly possible. The care homes are already shut off and not allowed visitors. So you would be telling those above the cut off age – along with immediate family – to self isolate in exactly the same way as they asked everyone coming back on the original BA flights to do. It may seem unfair, but its a valid policy consideration. Everyone else would be at a heightened risk as a price of their freedom, but at least they would still have an income.

        • Anonymous says:

          We are bloody self isolating. It’s the ‘front line essential staff ‘ that are swanning around without masks & without social distancing that are testing positive! Lock them up & set us free. I’m a senior & could happily drive a police car for the next 4 weeks whilst they stay at home.

      • Anonymous says:

        We don’t have old people’s homes! Our old people are locked up in their own homes & alone. Totally isolated & going crazy. No mental homes for them to eventually end up in. Let us all go free!

      • Anonymous says:

        Other than the fact that I agree with you 100%, as an American, I have never heard the expression “shire to shore” – but I absolutely love it! We Americans tend to say “shore to shore” as in the Atlantic to the Pacific and “sea to shining shore” in “America the Beautiful.” American isn’t so beautiful right now and with one third of all coronavirus deaths coming from residents or employees of nursing homes, you’re absolutely right about the scandal.

    • Anonymous says:

      And what about the fact that the UK authorities are reporting that over 50% of deaths from Covid are from the black British community, who only represent a very small section of the population as a whole.
      The same applies in the US, maybe far more so.
      Do you seriously believe that black Caribbean nationals are immune from these horrendous numbers?
      Get real Cayman, we may not see the worst effects this time around, but open the gates and get prepared to see many of your population die a terrible death.

    • Anonymous says:

      And I’m exhausted about this debate

    • Anonymous says:

      So very, very true.

      Another couple of months of this & Cayman will be bankrupt – no revenues but the same levels of government expenditure as we had pre-Corona virus. Even the most fiscally illiterate can figure out that this just is not sustainable.

      As a family in this situation who has lost the job of the main salary earner, do you cut your expenditure any way you can or do you just sink further & further into debt & keep your fingers crossed that all will be ok?

      I really would like to hear from our Minister of Finance- how long, fiscally, can this situation continue & what is being done to alleviate this problem?

      • Anonymous says:

        You need to look at government revenue from financial services , which is alive and well, will carry the country. We were shut from Ivan from tourism before, it was hard but we got through. What do you think every other country is doing, printing money, we will borrow our way out of this if needed and so the cycle continues. Other countries and paying people to stay home, where do you think that money is coming from?

  20. Anonymous says:

    Aintcha glad we didn’t blow $250million + on cruise berths that will NEVER get used in the foreseeable future? That put their gas at a peep!

    • For Love of Country says:

      Thank you CPR all of you are national heroes. CPR did what Moses Alden and the govt would not do which is stop the project. This country owes all of you a massive thank you for your courage and convictions. If not they would have started the project and Cayman would be owned by the cruise lines.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Carnival is currently advertising 28 cruises calling on Cayman for August onwards. We should be stopping them from advertising and taking money from people for visits to Cayman that are not going to take place. They shouldn’t be advertising any ship calling here until notified by CIG that we are open for business again. Allowing them to fluke customers in our name will not be good for our reputation. They’ve already done enough damage .

    • Anonymous says:

      Let them take the money of those stupid enough to go on a cruise again after this.

      • Anonymous says:

        So then when Carnival tells them sorry Cayman won’t let us in, the tourists can all point their fingers at Cayman instead of the real thug, Carnival?

        • Anonymous says:

          Always read the fine print. ALWAYS

        • Anonymous says:

          Good. We don’t need those fat, disease carrying cheapskates coming here anyway. We should have gone all in for the affluent tourist and folded the human pollution tourist a long time ago. Now’s our chance to get it right.

          • Anonymous says:

            Expand the airport runway and get those affluent Germans, Dutch and Italian tourists I always see around the Montego Bay Area.

  22. Anonymous says:

    just one to be singled out amongst more Ministerial folly.

    ‘Kirkconnell said that Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, which are opening ahead of Grand Cayman, were preparing for when we are over the coronavirus and could begin to promote domestic tourism.‘

    I’m interested Mr Kirkconnell, what is it that they’re doing; consolidating bulk orders of temp guns and antibody tests in case any asymptomatic Grand Cayman residents might jump on a Twin Otter undetected ? Nobody is going anywhere as financial decimation sets in, – a real plan is needed, not some reappropriated cruise pier rhetoric to appease a population in livelihood limbo. Get real help if you need it.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Cool, I would love to spend more time in sister islands.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Closing the airport until September?!! You’ve got to be kidding? How can you know now, four months from then, what the situation will be like. You don’t even know what the situation will be like four weeks from now, let alone four months. I can see limiting the cruise ships, since that’s a ton of different people spreading their germs every day, but I can’t see how land visitors, especially those with their own or rental properties, are a problem. Much smaller numbers and the airlines can be told to screen passengers for illness or contact with someone ill at the other end. It’s very short-sighted to cut off all sources of outside revenue for an entire country for that long a time.

    • Anonymous says:

      Follow the posters direction. build ‘bubbles’ around the tourists coming that if they pass along some nasty virus the impacts are limited.

      Life is full of choices. Choose to impoverish much of the country and there will be consequences possibly as serious as the virus brings. Choose to take steps forward that bring tourists might cause serious consequences around bringing more Covid19.

      What say the public?

      those with vulnerable family: close it down.

      those with livelihoods at stake: open it.

      How about those that choose to operate with some tourism opening are the one’s that take the risk? Can society be bubbled into different areas that minimise potential transmission from those choosing to remain isolated?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s not rocket science bobo. The US states have now embarked on a reckless mission to open up the country, against all medical and scientific advice. Hell, they are even ignoring Trump’s opening stages.
      They call it freedom, the rest of the world calls it blind stupidity and see death on a huge scale. I wonder how long those morons with rifles and meaningless placards find it unacceptable when granny or mom dies a horrible suffocating death alone.

      With projected deaths of 3000 per day come June, who would take the risk of opening up their borders to these self indulgent idiots to the north?
      With a population of 300 million, and with only 1.5 million infections so far, I’d say they have a long way to go before any kind of acceptable immunity can be considered.
      I hate to say this, but our borders should absolutely stay closed to the USA until some kind of sanity can be relied upon.
      Perhaps reliance on one country isn’t a great tourism or business strategy going forward.
      As for non Caymanian/resident home owners. Too bad folks, your tax avoiding money dumps should remain empty until we are certain that US citizens aren’t bringing the virus with them. We are not their convenient escape destination, nor are we their income source with little nett benefit to the local population. So, stay away, stay safe and stay well.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hope you know how to fish. If you are ever allowed to again.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really delighted that people in the White House are now getting the coronavirus after totally disregarding the advice of all the doctors and epidemiologists surrounding them.

        Would be a good thing if both Trump and Pence got the 🦠 🦠 🦠 so that they would then start finally showing real leadership.

        What other world leader would visit a mask making factory and wear only goggles during a pandemic.

        • Anonymous says:

          Or visit 100 year old veterans…WTF, he should be charged with attempted murder for that dipshit move

      • Anonymous says:

        You mean all those construction jobs that built them?

  25. Anonymous says:

    A country or region’s “Active Cases” chart needs to flatten and then taper dramatically to demonstrate the suppression efforts have been successful. New Zealand’s chart is a beautiful textbook parabola. Our recoveries are finally moving us there. Looking elsewhere, some of the tourism market “Active Cases” charts resemble a Saturn rocket flight path switching to second stage burn. Give our provincial bureaucrats some time. Looking at limited containment elsewhere, we can certainly deduce that no travel is happening for months.

  26. Anonymous says:

    I must have missed something. While I accept that easing the curfew restrictions will promote more local economic activity, I don’t see how “staycations” or any similar activity will have an appreciable impact on those businesses that rely on tourists for their survival. Additionally, most of the residents that I speak with are concerned about their own jobs and an uncertain future. These people will not be spending their money going to restaurants or doing other activities that are not deemed essential.

    I really look forward to seeing the national plan for the tourism sector.

    • Anonymous says:

      It doesn’t matter what your plan is. It is entirely up to US and Canada whether your tourism recovers. Meanwhile, keeping the airport closed until 9/1 sounds like suicide.

    • Anonymous says:

      Might see some of the restaurants and bars dropping their prices to tempt us locals in.

      • Anonymous says:

        I doubt that. They got rich off our backs, ripping us off for years. Now they want us to rescue them, with what exactly?
        They didn’t want us when times were good, to hell with them now if they don’t make real efforts to reduce prices and offer better value for money.

      • Anonymous says:

        Whoever starts charging six dollars for an aperol spritz will have my business.

      • Anonymous says:

        How far can you drop your price? Below break even or modest profit is insanity.
        Personally, I pay good money for good food and good service and always look for reasons to leave a tip.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t bet on it!

      • Anonymous says:

        I’d wager half or more won’t survive. Most restaurants make their money 3 days per week to make up for the losses on the other days. With seating restrictions for the forseeable future they will not make up the difference during their normally profitable days. Great way to eliminate competition though.

        • Anonymous says:

          If the over/under you are offering is 50%, I would take the under. But I would’t the the under at 40%. It is going to be ugly, but the best run restaurants will survive.

    • Anonymous says:

      And just who is going to have money for Staycations..after being locked down and jobless until at least September? What kind of delusional elitist thinking is this??? We don’t money or a future right now…and many are desperately trying to make it day by day. God help us! Our wealthy leaders are clueless.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Is the official message, we will stay closed to the rest of the world until the globe is free and clear of coronavirus?….lol…

    • Anonymous says:

      How would it be possible to reopen otherwise? We would end up undoing all the work we’ve done this far just to make a few bucks? Not worth it.

      • Anonymous says:

        3:21 So… if there is no vaccine for the next 3 years or 5 are you ok with no airport and boarders closed to all?
        Don’t be fooled while it would be great for a vaccine to be out in 12 months this has never been done. It may never come.

        • Anonymous says:

          @6:10 pm, while there are no guarantees, there are very smart and well funded companies working on vaccines. If that is possible, and as I said no one is guaranteeing that, the hope is that a vaccine will come on stream next year, if not before.

          Hang in.

          • Anonymous says:

            1130 – And put all your money on red at the casino and spin the wheel.
            People in professional industries that hold peoples life in their hands hope for the best but plan for the worst.
            But in Goverment they just have one plan….Not to open until a vaccine hoping for a miracle and praying.
            Total unprofessional!

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL. I love this insanity. Reality check. The virus isn’t going anywhere! It will mutate and change but it will be in the world’s population for decades. Cayman CANNOT escape this but people still think that they are going to hide from it by locking themselves away from the rest of the world. This is not a strategy. The government are now taking us down a dead end road with two possible conclusions. 1. Economic and social ruin or 2. At some point when the peak has passed begin to let visitors in and manage it as best you can. A vaccine is a year away from now. Who has the savings to last until then?

      • Anonymous says:

        A few bucks? Good grief- Cayman’s revenues ( which , incidentally , are required to pay Civil Servant salaries) are practically zero? Are you from this planet?

        • Anonymous says:

          Their revenues are fine. Tourism does not bring in more than 10% of government income. More work permit, company & bank fees in other sectors.

          • Anonymous says:

            So wrong. Tourism taxes ie per head tax on every cruise ship passenger ( whether they disembark or not), hotel accommodations, air arrivals etc are a huge percentage of government revenue alongside import duties. Company bank fees/ corporate fees etc. are insignificant compared to what we earn from tourism + the Caymanians jobs that Tourism supports.

            • Anonymous says:

              Mate, this is all documented in public records. More than 50% of the economy’ is with financial services, who are still working.

          • Anonymous says:

            But the Gov is not letting work permit holders come in……I for one will move our company from the Island should CIG not let permit holders back on Island in the next 6 weeks.
            Not everyone could make it back before shut down!

  28. Anonymous says:

    “Although the last part of the economy to recover, tourism can come back in part with ‘staycations’, which he predicted would “become huge”.

    Lol- who is going to take a staycation in a massive recession? I can go to the beach soon and they will not be jam packed with tourists. After that I can go home and have all my conveniences.
    You may get a few weekend stays but the hotels will still be barren during the week. Best to turn off the lights and come back when the government has pulled its head out of their backsides.
    This just proves the government and the think tank are out to lunch.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why not talk to NHS to bring Oxford vaccine clinical trials here. Seems like Cayman could be a great place to conduct trials and could make us first to reopen.

    • Autonomous says:

      Believe me. Hotels will not offer stay-cations. They’re fine to help reach a sellout or to layer atop other occupancy in slow periods. By themselves, this business isn’t worth opening the doors for.

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